Incomplete for its lack of distinct authorship, a fully developed theology, and for manuscript omissions between 8:14 - 10:15, chapters 14 through 18, and everything following chapter 25, the Incomplete Commentary on Matthew was of monumental importance to theologians of the Middle Ages. Thomas Aquinas among these once remarked that he would rather possess a full and complete Incomplete Commentary on Matthew than to be mayor of the great city of Paris itself!
While at times reflecting Arian tendencies in a select few of his comments, the unknown 5th-century author nonetheless retains a sturdy overall compliance with orthodox Christianity and seeks to expound upon the meaning of Matthew's Gospel for all readers. Now available for the first time in English, this first volume of the Incomplete Commentary is an ideal resource for pastors, scholars, and students of Christian history and theology. Volume covers chapters 1-11 (excepting 8:14-10:15) of the Incomplete Commentary.
In the translator's introduction to this volume, James Kellerman relates the following story: As Thomas Aquinas was approaching Paris, a fellow traveler pointed out the lovely buildings gracing that city. Aquinas was impressed, to be sure, but he sighed and stated that he would rather have the complete Incomplete Commentary on Matthew than to be mayor of Paris itself. Thomas's affection for the work attests its great popularity during the Middle Ages, despite its significant missing parts--everything beyond the end of Matthew 25, with further gaps of Matthew 8:11--10:15 and 13:14--18:35. Despite the gaps what remains is quite lengthy, so much so that we offer the work in two volumes, comprising fifty-four homilies. While the early-fifth-century author displays a few Arian propensities in a handful of passages, for the most part the commentary is moral in nature and therefore orthodox and generic. The unknown author, who for several centuries was thought to be John Chrysostom, follows the allegorizing method of the Alexandrians, but not by overlooking the literal meaning. His passion, above all, is to set forth the meaning of Matthew's Gospel for his readers. Here for the first time this ancient work is made available in English, ably translated by James A. Kellerman and edited by Thomas C. Oden.
James A. Kellerman has a doctorate in classical languages and literature from Loyola University. He is the pastor of First Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Chicago and also teaches part time at Concordia University Chicago. He has contributed translations to several volumes of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.
Thomas C. Oden (19312016), was the general editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture and the Ancient Christian Doctrine series as well as the author of , a revision of his three-volume systematic theology. He was the director of the Center for Early African Christianity at Eastern University in Pennsylvania and he served as the Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology at The Theological School of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Oden was active in the Confessing Movement in America, particularly within the United Methodist Church and was president of The Institute for Classical Christian Studies. He suggested that Christians need to rely upon the wisdom of the historical Church, particularly the early Church, rather than on modern scholarship and theology and said his mission was "to begin to prepare the postmodern Christian community for its third millennium by returning again to the careful study and respectful following of the central tradition of classical Christianity."